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In THE ROSE, Bette Midler plays a character based on the life of Janis
Joplin. This one of those rare movies where everything works perfectly.
Although she is amazingly talented, I sometimes wonder if Bette herself
ever looks back on this movie and wonders how she managed such an
amazing portrayal, in the same way that an Olympic skater reviews the
footage of a 10.0 performance and is stunned that every blade stroke
really is picture perfect.
While the storyline is memorable, and the acting superb, music
outshines everything else. This is a movie from 1979, a time when rock
and roll was still considered a lifestyle, and big rock bands were
treated with absolute god-like adoration. Music mattered. It was a
vital part of peoples' lives, and in THE ROSE it reaches the heights of
excellence that normally exist only in memories that have improved with
age. In this case, the music sounds as vibrant, exciting, and fresh
today as when the movie debuted.
Bette belts out these songs with soul and fiery passion. The only other
contemporary singer I can imagine doing a similarly credible job is
Sissy Spacek won the Best Actress Oscar for Coal Miner's Daughter
(1980), but in retrospect I'm sure a lot of people regret not having
awarded it to Bette Midler. This was not only an amazing, high caliber
performance, but one that the passage of time has not diminished. This
is a stunning movie. My dream is to rent a movie theatre for an
evening, invite 30 friends, and relive this great experience.
Movie theatres used to be bigger, and were aptly called "movie
palaces". THE ROSE deserves to be seen in such a grand venue. In the
rich pantheon of movie history, THE ROSE is true royalty.
Note added October 9, 2007: It has been over a year, and I have no
indication if anyone has ever read this review. If you read it, even if
you give it a thumbs down, please answer whether the review was useful
to you or not. I just am so curious if anyone will EVER read it. Right
now, I'm listening to the soundtrack. This movie is timeless.
Tags for The Rose Full Movie
, Bette Midler
, Frederic Forrest
, Harry Dean Stanton
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